Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Day That Was

February 13, 2007

Don't think of this as the day before Valentine's Day, think of it as the day after yesterday, I say to myself. What is all this new fuss over Valentine's Day anyhow? It's a nice holiday, particularly if you like roses and chocolate, or are in the business of manufacturing or selling either one, but if you're an ordinary civilian with nobody to pressure to buy stuff for you, it's not much of a day. And it can even be a downer.

So I'll focus on yesterday rather than tomorrow, before today really starts.

I began by posting a rather revealing commentary on arsenic on school grounds, responding to somebody from Georgia who found this site last week using the search engine words "fairhope alabama arsenic school." I decided to lay that story to rest once and for all by telling the true version of it.

Then I got an email from a sympathetic friend who said I should say nothing about the story at this time, certainly not on the Internet, but I had written it so carefully I was loath to part with my blogpost for the day. However, the mechanism for checking traffic on the blog was down and I couldn't tell if I'd had two hits or two hundred, where they came from, and whether they might be from someone who would want to use this arsenic post against me in some way I might not be able to anticipate. As the day wore one I began to become a little anxious, and by late afternoon I went on and deleted it.

Some of you got to read it. Here's your chance to weigh in -- should I re-post at some point or was I simply beating a dead horse? Was it a valid topic for a blog? Did it shed any light on the controversy that raged in Fairhope four years ago? Am I simply adding fuel to the flame intended to destroy a precious part of Fairhope life?

It's gone now, but resides somewhere on my hard drive and I can easily post it again if there is demand.

The mail in the early afternoon brought a rejection letter from the agent to whom I'd submitted my latest manuscript. A bummer, but not a huge surprise. The letter was nice and said that this particular agency did not feel personally passionate about the book but that I should not in any way consider that a comment on the quality of my work. Okay, I'll try to manage that. The manuscript was not returned, and as I pondered why that might be I came upon the last sentence of the letter, "We have discreetly recycled your materials."

Discreetly recycled??? What will bert bananas say about that? Visions of these attractive female executives at a shredder, discreetly recycling, leap into my imagination. It's not a pretty picture. I think I'd rather have the ms. back, complete with smudged fingerprints and coffee stains on it. I think I'd rather have it back even if it's still pristine and crisp, as if nobody had even looked at it.

I have a nephew who is a professional writer and jazz critic, with a few books to his credit, who promised to submit the book to his agent if the first one doesn't work out. If that doesn't happen I'll just start another book, I guess.

Or maybe I'll get back to daily blogging.


Benedict S. said...

Best to republish. Let it all hang out there. Nothing like a little real controversy to keep the old blood flowing. Besides, I didn't get to read it.

Arsenic huh? Maybe in Utopia the children should be given a tiny taste of poison every so often, just to build up an immunity to the hard world outside the school door.

I don't remember the name of the poem. I think it was by A. E. Housman, about an old Greek King name of Mithridates who knew he was the target of assassins whose favorite weapon was poison. He implemented the "cure" recommended above. The last line of the poem told the story: "Mithridates, he died old."

Grammie said...

...can't really comment on the "arsenic controversy" as I didn't get a chance to read it. I say do what makes you most comfortable and will not keep you awake at night. : )

Sorry about the recycling of your manuscript...when you are a world famous author topping the best seller list you can send them a box of shredded something-or-other!

An old high school friend of mine just returned from a visit to Fairhope and attended the Mardi Gras parade there...She spoke of its beauty with many flowers blooming...she said:"It's very seductive but the real estate prices are a bit over the top (though nothing like Colorado and California)..." I think that she might even consider renting a place there at some time...she liked it that much.
Thought that I'd share that with you.
Have a nice day!

Bert Bananas said...

"Discreetly recycled??? What will bert bananas say about that?"

Bert Bananas says ...

I say a pox on their house! They're probably selling rejected manuscripts by the metric tonne to recyclers and making more money that way than on actually publishing! What a racket!

I also say that you should live happy.

Holly said...

Hi, I'm doing a research project on blogs and bloggers in the Mobile/Pensacola vicinity. Would you mind e-mailing me so I can ask you a few questions? Thanks much! charcoalartist@comcast.net

Dr.N. Spitov Umseff said...

Arsenic.........found in various forms in and about public places and private homes is a controlled substance, is it not? Anyone who has a deck about their home has it. Anyone who goes to fishing pier or nature walkway made of artificially long lasting wood is exposed to it. It is known literarily on stage and in novel with much worse effect than is seen in our everyday lives, however. Just imagine the newly re-opened Fairhope pier and all the tykes handling the protective fencing and the taller people lolling on the railing or resting on the benches. Ah, sickness and slow death are sure to follow, right?
According to media reports , our surroundings are full things that are harmful, like staff, ecoli, eboli, hepatitis, mosquitos, fleas, ticks, peanut butter, aids, TB, and on and on. Arsenic is deadly to some life, but I'd bet a goat could eat it and never know the difference. Our neighbor's goat ate a whole box of Miracle Gro, just before eating the wires off of their trailer. Feeding the BILLY goat arsenic would be a good test; a dose of medicine for him maybe.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Watch your comments, Dr. Spitov. Litigious trolls may swim in these waters...otherwise the arsenic post would be back up.